Around seven or eight years ago while working in the corporate world of the computer industry, one aspect of my job was to prevent computer vulnerabilities where data was at risk. I remember going into my boss’s office and pointing out how easy it would be to connect a USB Flash device (Universal Serial Bus) to your computer and extract valuable data in a short while. Connecting the device, downloading multiple folders and covering your tracks could be possible in the length of time it takes someone to go to the washroom. Imagine that, your boss pops out to lunch, leaves his system running and the unscrupulous employee now has all his e-mail in hand. Perhaps just prior to his/her annual pay review, wouldn’t that be a useful upper hand? Please be aware this is not something I am suggesting, just that it is a possible security issue. Although my boss at the time thought I was a little “over paranoid” it was still something I considered significant.PodSlurping

Now eleven years since the introduction of the USB interface, it is a concern amongst IT (Information Technology) professionals and company security issues. I sometimes may over analyze an issue however a saying that I try to adhere to is “the paranoid will survive” (that is at least in data security). In fact there is now even a “geek” term for this data theft practice called “podslurping”. This practice could even occur in your house where someone wants your private tax files or other important data. I am not trying to make you paranoid over data theft, but pointing out a potential weakness.


There is various software available that will prevent someone from copying files to DVD drives, CD drives and devices that connect to USB ports. (e.g. SmartLine’s DeviceLock 6, about $40, www.devicelock.com ) Another solution is software that will encrypt your data files; so even if they are copied, unless the thief has the valid decrypted/password your data is useless to them. (e.g. Cryptomathic’s File2File, free/30day trial, www.cryptomathic.com).


Remember if your data should end up in the wrong hands, it could be a valuable asset to someone who may use it for their own benefit or even sell it to someone for other Machiavellian purposes.

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